Hordes of rodents invade Puri shrine, servitors elevate alarm | Bhubaneswar Information

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Hordes of rodents invade Puri shrine, servitors raise alarm | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: The famous Jagannath temple in Puri has been ambushed by hordes of rodents – nibbling on the robes of sibling gods Jagannath, Balabhadra and goddess Subhadra – worrying shrine officials who have sounded the alarm.
Servitors said the imminent rodent threat to the Holy of Holies and the wooden idols of the deities is a cause for grave concern. “We find it difficult to perform rituals amidst the rodents and their waste. Every day they destroy the robes and garlands of the deities. Also, the rats have corrupted the faces of the deities,” said Satyanarayan Puspalak, a servant.
Bhagaban Panda, another servant, said small cavities were discovered between the stone crevices on the floor, which could pose a threat to the sanctum’s structure.
The population of rats and cockroaches exploded in the temple during the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021, during which the shrine was closed to devotees for several months.
Temple officials said they were aware of the problem. “We are aware of the problem and are taking preventive measures to get rid of the rats. As a temporary measure, we’re setting up traps. Those trapped will be released far from the shrine outside. We don’t use rat poison at all,” said Jitendra Sahoo, Temple Manager.